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How We Work Determined to Develop Malawi

At Determined to Develop (D2D), we take a collaborative approach to our work, and believe that those who live in the area are best able to assess needs and create solutions for the community. We do not impose what we think should be solutions from the top-down, but rather work with community members from the ground-up. Our commitment to collaboration allows us to maximize impact and assist in the development of Chilumba in a responsible and positive way.

All our projects have community ownership, which is demonstrated in two ways:

First, communities are enlisted to identify their needs and solutions, which becomes the basis of our work. We participate in regular village needs assessment meetings attended by Village Headmen (chiefs), local village development committees, women’s groups, civil society leaders, and other community members. It is from these meetings that the concept, planning, and implementation stages of any of our projects begin. Furthermore, all work is vetted by community stakeholders.

Second, communities contribute to the running of each project. Our approach emphasizes the personal responsibility and accountability of all partners involved. This grassroots model for development utilizes local knowledge and ensures that we work in collaboration with traditional leaders and community-based networks, respecting cultural values and traditions. This process is assisted by the community liaison officer, who ensures that we stay fully engaged with everything taking place in the villages and vice versa.

We have expanded our programming, but maintain our focus on a relatively small geographic area of Chilumba, Malawi. Remaining a local organization has a number of benefits. We have developed a strong rapport with stakeholders in the area, which helps us to run our many projects effectively. Working on the ground also allows us to have close and on-going monitoring of all projects, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt projects where necessary and learn through evaluation. This approach also ensures that all money donated is used in the most cost-effective way, as we have minimal overhead costs.

As a development organization, it is important to us that our initiatives are in-line with those of broader development strategies, both in the national and international context. These strategies include the Karonga District Development Plan, Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, and the United Nation’s Standard Development Goals. Each of these strategies includes specific actions for improved youth education. By aligning our programs with the initiatives in these development strategies, we ensure that our programs are following the best fit for the development of Malawi.

Learn more about how D2D works by clicking below:

Determined to Develop Guests and Partnerships 1
Determined to Develop Guests and Partnerships 1
Determined to Develop Guests and Partnerships 2
Determined to Develop Guests and Partnerships 3
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Determined to Develop guests and partnerships

Determined to Develop has had a very exciting couple of months, with a number of varied guests, volunteers and students joining us at our home base, Maji Zuwa.

D2D is a host organization for Malawian and British volunteers through a partnership with the international youth organization Lattitude Global Volunteering, and the Department for International Development (DFID), the UK government’s department responsible for administering overseas aid.

DFID funds ICS (International Citizen Service) and for the past 18 months, D2D has hosted volunteers and worked with them to further development in Sangilo. The volunteers have been primarily involved with raising the standards of education in the four nursery schools D2D supports, but have also contributed to reforestation, girls clubs, building projects, adult literacy, women’s empowerment and much more. In September, an exciting new project with ICS will begin, focusing on supporting women’s groups in the area. Additionally we have had a Lattitude core program volunteer with us for three months, who has been working with our sponsored youth and tutoring them in math, as part of our non-formal education program.

D2D has a strong partnership with the University of Dayton, and hosted several students throughout the summer months. In May, four students studying as part of the Human Rights Practicum started their own individual research projects in the area concerning education, development, agriculture, and culture. They were joined by three engineering students as part of the ETHOS initiative. The main project of the engineering students was to apply their technical skills in surveying our land to be used to a new high school. They’ve also applied their expertise to building a new garden and drip irrigation system at Maji Zuwa so that we can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to supplement the diet of our youth.

We were also very fortunate to host a delegation of four faculty members from UD. Although it was a quick visit, we managed to accomplish a lot during their stay. In addition to checking in on all the sites of their students, the faculty were able to move around our area to witness first-hand how our projects are impacting the community. During their stay, we celebrated the 4th of July with a barbecue shared with our residential youth, and a cultural performance from the community.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)